Farm Bill — a conservation heavyweight

Did you know that the Farm Bill is one of the most powerful conservation tools in our nation’s history? Absolutely true. The legions of Americans who love to fish, hunt and enjoy the outdoors owe a lot to little-known but highly effective Farm Bill conservation programs (with alphabet-soup names such as EQIP, AWEP, and CIG) that have been working for many years to keep our soil and water healthy. 

How do they work? By fostering collaboration, for one thing. For instance, many of Trout Unlimited’s stream restoration projects in the West involve working with farmers and ranchers on irrigation system upgrades and water efficiencies that enhance flows and habitat for fish. Farm Bill conservation programs help make it all happen by encouraging local, state and federal partners to share expertise and leverage resources. Farmers and ranchers benefit from the operational upgrades and so do the streams and fish. 

That’s why TU and other ag and conservation groups this week joined forces to ask Congress to preserve funding for these important programs. Here’s the release about the newly formed Western Agriculture and Conservation Coalition.

“Successful conservation depends on collaboration,” said Chris Wood,
president and CEO of Trout Unlimited, in the release. “In the West, many of our
conservation projects wouldn’t happen without two things: agricultural
producer partners and Farm Bill support. We urge Congress to act quickly
to ensure a Farm Bill that continues to provide vital tools for private
land stewardship.”

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